Many of us have at least one individual that completely changed the course of our lives through acts of kindness. Heroism exists beyond the wealthy and well-known. It is found in the ordinary people who live alongside us – those who are willing to be lighthouses in a stormy and often unsettled world. These are people like Greg Anthony, who found his way out of the foster care system. Hearing his relatable story and knowing that another individual understood and dealt with the challenges I faced; helped to clear my path going forward.
You’re probably wondering, who are these human lighthouses? What do they do that makes them so impactful? On a weekly basis we cover some of these stories of real people making a big impact on their communities-and in doing so they help us find our more common story. Dr. Lindsey Hall
In an article with The News-Gazette, John Koller, A District Fire Chief in Cornbelt, Illinois, was asked who his 2021 ‘Person of the Year’ would be. His immediate answer was Dr. Lindsey Hall, who is the superintendent for the Mahomet-Seymour schools.
Kolley says that he, and many other locals in leadership positions, go to Dr. Hall for advice.
“When COVID first hit in our area, she was a leader in our community that many of us went to for advice and thoughts on the situation at hand. The absolute care and concern that she had for her staff, the students and our community as a whole helped us all set a tone as to how we would begin to move forward during the pandemic. While we all sat in a room around tables trying to wrap our minds around the situation, she sat at the head of the table, exhibiting amazing leadership.”
According to John, Dr. Hall is consistently putting thoughtfulness and knowledge into her work, even behind the scenes. It is clear that she does not help others in order to prop herself up but rather helps out of the goodness and kindness of her heart. She is a shining example of a caring leader and lighthouse.
Maria Castro, a Riverside native, started working as a community investment manager with Comcast, collaborating with Chicago nonprofits to help build up low-income communities and those in need by providing things like internet access. All year long, while working directly with women affected by homeless, domestic violence, and other struggles, she saw a need that could be filled. That’s when Maria started her own initiative – Love Purse, a nonprofit which aims to make women across the Chicago area feel loved, valued, and respected, especially in a time when most of them may have lost everything. Each Love Purse is an ordinary handbag filled with daily essentials such as deodorant, lip balms, feminine care products, socks, a toothbrush, toothpaste, and more.
Castro said, “As I came up with the idea of collecting all these toiletries [to donate], I just didn’t feel right giving a woman who already feels down and out and really down on her luck a plastic bag saying, ‘Here you go, here’s your toiletries,’. I just felt like that was so insensitive.” Castro’s goal is to remind each recipient of a Love Purse that no matter the circumstances, they are respected and valued as human beings.
Paul E. Linet
Paul Linet is the founder and president of 3i hoME, a Maine nonprofit which seeks to provide Independent, Innovative, and Integrated housing and support to individuals affected by disabilities. After serving as a family caregiving advocate for more than 25 years, Paul noticed a problem that many young physically disabled people were facing. He describes the issue by telling the story of a man named John who, in his mid-20’s was unable to walk after surviving a horrific car accident. Due to his disability, his housing situation no longer met his needs and, after looking, there did not seem to be any affordable place to live that met his needs. This story is not uncommon, and leaves many families with the tough decision of putting their family members in a care facility prematurely.
Paul saw a problem that his community was facing and set out to provide help with no reward for himself.
Do you have a Lighthouse you want to thank?
Human Lighthouses are often humble, steady, and seek no reward. That is why they should be honored that much more. If you have a Lighthouse in your life that you want to thank, go to lighthouseeffectcertificate.com and fill in their information. A thank you certificate with a special message of recognition will be sent to them that includes their name, your name, and is signed by The Lighthouse Effect author Steve Pemberton. If you want to donate to the nonprofits above:
Lighthouse Effect Thought of The Week
True leaders take action without checking to see if anyone is looking; for there is no better reward than making a fundamental difference in someone’s life.
The Lighthouse Effect is the idea that any of us - immersed in the hustle and bustle of our lives, wrestling with our own ambitions and imperfections - can pause, and change the arc of a life now and for generations to come.
See a video about The Lighthouse Effect
Get your copy of the Lighthouse Effect Here: lighthouseeffectbook.com